Peppermint Brownies

Another perfect Christmas recipe for the books! These brownies go perfect with hot chocolate on a cold winter night while decorating the Christmas tree or watching a movie. Maybe even leave one out for Santa on Christmas Eve! I’m sure he would appreciate it with a glass of milk 😉 Gooey chocolate with a hint of peppermint. Heavenly.

What you will need:

8 x 8 square bake pan lined with parchment paper

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup Andes mint chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Combine the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl and melt in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each time. Pour into a larger bowl and whisk in both sugars. Once cooled to room temperature, whisk in eggs and both extracts until combined. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder. Stir into the wet ingredients until you still see some flour (you do not want to overmix the batter). Stir in the mint chips. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Store covered at room temp. Enjoy!

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Peppermint Meltaways

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know I always post the pictures of what I’m about to blog about next. So… I hope you all were waiting for this recipe! Seriously, THIS is the cookie of Christmas 2017 for me. They literally melt in your mouth and peppermint just has that holiday flavor you crave this time of year. Ugh, I ate way too many already and it’s not even December. But as always, not only do these taste great, they are super simple to make, too. Definitely add these to your holiday cookie exchange/platter/dessert table because they are not worth passing up 🙂

Go get your aprons on… it’s about to feel like Christmas in your house (and mouth) 😉

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

For the frosting:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup crushed candy canes

In a bowl, whisk together flour and cornstarch. In another bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar and extract until smooth. Slowly add in flour mixture until dough is formed. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the bottoms are beginning to brown. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, beat butter until smooth. Add in milk, extract and powdered sugar and beat until you reach desired consistency. Spread on each cookie (I just used the back of a spoon) and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Enjoy!

Makes about 2 dozen cookies. Store covered.

Happy Baking!

Cranberry Orange Cake

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The perfect Christmas cake! It is not only so gorgeous, it is super tasty, too! I found the recipe on alattefood.com so go check out her site if you have not been there yet! She has some great recipes. I changed a few things in this recipe but for the most part, it’s the same. If you love the tartness of cranberry, this cake is for you. Just know that this recipe is more involved than other cakes I have made, so make sure you have a lot of time and patience before starting. So, come on! You got this…

What you will need:

Cake:

3 round cake pans either 8 inch or 9 inch sprayed with non-stick spray (note: My cake is only 2 tiers because the other tier did not make it out of the pan. We had a little baker catastrophe. BUT it was still eaten ;))

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs, separated at room temp
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk (I used 2 %)
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
Orange zest from 1 orange
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries + Tbsp flour

Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
4 oz. cream cheese at room temp
Orange zest from 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
4 cups powdered sugar
Optional: cranberries and orange slices to decorate

Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add oil and sugar and beat until nice and fluffy. Add in vanilla and egg yolks and beat until well combined.

In another bowl, mix together the milk, sour cream or yogurt, and orange zest. Alternating with the flour mixture, beat into the butter mixture until just combined. Flour mixture, milk mixture, flour mixture, milk mixture, etc.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cake batter.

Toss the cranberries in 1 Tbsp of flour and then fold into the cake batter. Evenly pour batter into prepared cake pans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely on wire racks.

Make the frosting

Beat butter and cream cheese until well combined. Add in orange zest and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in orange juice and 2 cups of powdered sugar. Beat until you reach desired consistency, adding more powdered sugar as needed.

Frost the cooled cakes, decorate and enjoy!

I stored my cake covered, in the fridge but let it come to room temperature when serving. I know! A lot of steps but it’s definitely worth it 🙂

Oh, and last but not least, I tossed my cranberries in a bowl with a tiny amount of water and granulated sugar to get that candied look.

Brownie Christmas Trees

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Thanksgiving is over so Christmas has officially exploded everywhere! And if you know me, you know I LOVE it! Time to blast those Christmas tunes, shop, drink hot chocolate and of course… bake! I saw these cute trees on Pinterest and thought they would be perfect and a lot of fun for my 4 year old. Super easy, super delicious. Done and done!

I used a box brownie mix but made my own green frosting. And then the stars are mini M&M’s, ornaments are jumbo Nonpareils, we also used sparkling sugar and then the trunks are pretzel sticks!

So, let’s get creative and start baking!

What you will need:

9 x 9 inch square pan lined with foil and then sprayed with non-stick spray
1 box brownie mix plus all ingredients to make (eggs, oil, water)
Sprinkles of your choosing
M&M’s or other star type topping of your choosing
Pretzel sticks (I’ve also seen them done with candy canes)
Green frosting

If making your own frosting:

1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
Green food coloring

Make the brownies using whatever recipe you want. I just used Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies. Pour in prepared pan. Bake and allow to cool completely.

Take out of pan and remove foil. Place brownies on a cutting board and cut into triangles.

Here are my triangles. They are all different shapes and sizes because I did not plan out my cutting like I should have but also no 2 tree is the same in real life so…

I put my frosting is a Ziplock bag and piped it on. And then decorate! For the tree trunks I used half a pretzel stick and just sticked it in. Easy peasy.

Here’s my little guy helping me! He did such a great job 🙂

Store covered in a cool, dry place. As always, enjoy! Happy Christmas season!

Cinnamon Rudolph Cookies

I didn’t know what to call these. The cookie itself is a cinnamon cookie, and then I made them look like Rudolph, so…. there ya go! Super easy and too cute, right?! Kids will love these and they are just so stinking adorable. Another great cookie to add to your holiday dessert table or cookie exchange. I actually saw similar cookies on Pinterest made with peanut butter, but I wanted to do something a little different.

I love cookies where you can be creative and have your kids join in on the fun! Have them decorate cookies with whatever ingredients they want and see what they come up with 🙂 So, let’s go!

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg

For decorating you will need pretzels, raisins and red M&M’s (or any other ingredients you want to use. Be creative!)

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, or bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter, oil and both sugars until creamy. Add egg and beat until combined. Slowly add in flour mixture until dough is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take about a tablespoon of dough and form a ball, pressing down lightly onto the prepared cookie sheet. Space the cookies out fairly far apart, as you need room to put on the antlers after they bake. Bake for about 10-11 minutes.

As the cookies are baking, get your reindeer ingredients ready. In the picture below I have my 6 sets of antlers, 6 sets of eyes and 6 noses.

As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, gently press the antlers, eyes and noses into the cookies. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Seriously, how cute are these?!

Candy Cane Cookies 

A Christmas favorite for sure! So pretty to look at and just as easy to eat! Making them, however, is tedious and takes a little longer than a typical cookie. But it’s definitely worth it! These candy cane cookies are the perfect addition to your holiday dessert table or cookie exchange 🙂 Go put on your aprons and let’s get baking…

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
Dash of salt
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Red food coloring
Crushed candy canes for sprinkling on top

In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, or bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Add yolks and extracts and beat until combined. Slowly add in flour until dough is formed. Take out half of the dough and wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator. Add several drops of red food coloring to the remaining dough and mix until you achieve the desired color. Wrap that dough in plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. On a piece of parchment paper with flour, separately roll a quarter size of each color into a 4-5 inch rope.

Gently press together and pinch the top and bottom. Twist together and place on your prepared cookie sheet. Bend the tops to resemble a candy cane. Continue until you use all the dough. If the dough seems soft, stick the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before baking. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

As soon as they are out of the oven, sprinkle with crushed candy cane. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

So festive! Happy holidays!

 

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

I’m so happy how these turned out! They are so delicious and look beautiful. The cookie is almost brownie-like and the peppermint candy on the top creates the perfect crunch. They are super easy and do not take long to make, either so let’s go!

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup crushed candy canes

Note: This recipe only made about 15 cookies, so double it if you need more.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, or the bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add flour mixture until just combined. The dough will be quite thick! Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll dough into balls and press down lightly onto cookie sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes. As soon as cookies come out of oven, sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Look at these beauties! 🙂